Oyster mushrooms carmalized with garlic scapes over spring greens

What’s real, what isn’t? The mushroom man, he’s real. His name is Dave and the mushrooms he sell taste awesome. I first met Dave at the Little Kitchen a few years ago. It was a Sunday morning in November, he chose the Buffalo Steak and Eggs for breakfast. The dish made him happy and he shared that with me.

Since that time, I’ve seen Dave at the farmers market in Sag Harbor. His offerings are exotic, many of which come from his production. Never stopped to buy, why I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s just a barrier that he had to break and he did. Last Friday, after the market day had passed and I was breaking down my pasta stand, I found a brown paper bag. The Mushroom Man had shared his oyster mushrooms with me. This is a gesture that to me suggests a greeting, a welcome to the club of sorts.

Tonight for dinner the feature was oyster mushrooms, first tossed in equal parts of reduced balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and olive oil then caramelized in a cast iron skillet with thinly sliced garlic scapes.

The mushrooms meaty flavor compliments a roughly chopped salad of pea sprouts, spring spinach, and arugula. Not only did this meal celebrate the gift of Dave’s oyster mushrooms, it also defined the first harvest at Quail Hill. On Saturday Whittier joined me in the lower gardens, snipping spinach then arugula, followed by a walk up to the field east of the apple orchard in search of pea shoots.

The result needs no dressing, simply place the cleaned, chopped spring greens in each bowl and top with equal parts of caramelized oyster mushrooms, be sure to pour any remaining liquid over the mushrooms, serve hot.

To serve 4 as a starter.


4 cups chopped, fresh oyster mushrooms
2 cups fresh, cleaned arugula
2 cups fresh spring spinach
1 bunch pea shoots, remove thick stems
4 tablespoons reduced balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic scapes, sliced into thin pieces
4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Start with vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat, add garlic scapes and stir for 3 minutes.

Add the chopped mushrooms after they’ve been tossed with the olive oil, vinegar and soy.

Turn up the heat and stir often, when the mushrooms have caramelized transfer them to the bowls filled with greens and serve.

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